NARDELLI CASE POSTPONED BY TAX COMMISSION
Plantation Owner Charged With Sales to Drunks And Minors
Moore Thinks Attorney Is Right in Denying Authority of Board
By FRED FINNET
PHOENIX, Sept. 23.—Split wide, asunder on the question of strict enforcement of the state liquor regulations, especially as pertaining to roadhouses and night clubs, the state tax commission is in the midst of a lengthy inquisition involving nearly 100 such. In each of these hearings, operators and proprietors of Arizona night clubs have been cited to show cause why their liquor licenses should not be revoked. Citations arise from a number of alleged violations of the liquor enforcement enforcement laws, brought for the most part by special investigators of the liquor enforcement division of the tax commission.
D. C. O'Neil, member of the commission, is backing the drive for more rigid enforcement strongly, while Chairman Thad Moore and Frank Luke, member, appear slightly disinterested.
At today’s series of hearings, that based on the citation of George Nardelli, bartender of the Plantation night club north of Tucson, was due, but was postponed indefinitely. Nardelli, his brother Robert owner of the Plantation (George Nardelli’s name appears as licensee), and Eddie Manciet, headwaiter at the Plantation, appeared at yesterday's hearing. Louis G. Whitney, Phoenix attorney, appeared for Nardelli, asking the commission for a postponement of the hearing.
Whitney made an avowal that George O. Hilzinger, Nardelli's attorney, was to be busy all this week in Pima county superior court in a lawsuit. If worst came to worst, Whitney said, and the commission insisted on having the hearing at the hour set, he would attempt to represent Nardelli, but he urged that the commission enable the liquor dispenser to be represented by his own counsel. O'Neil stated later that the Nardelli hearing probably would be reset for two weeks hence.
Faces Three Charges
Nardelli is charged with running gambling games at the Plantation, with selling liquor to disorderly and intoxicated persons and to minors, and with operating under a liquor license not issued to the real party of interest. It appears that the investigation launched by O'Neil's investigators has brought to light the fact that while the Plantation liquor license is in the name of George Nardelli, an employe, Robert Nardelli is the owner and operator of the place. It was learned also that the crux of the liquor enforcement department's case will rely on the sworn testimony testimony of the Nardellis in the recent preliminary hearing held in Tucson in the Hedderman assault case.
Whitney, in connection both with the Nardelli case and with a Phoenix night club case, filed written objections to the hearings, stating that he did not believe the tax commission had jurisdiction in these matters. Moore, in one of his few remarks during the day, said "I believe you are right.”
Throughout the day's inquisition, involving several cases, O'Neil led the questioning for the tax commission, with Chairman Moore and Member Luke remaining silent for the most part.
The second Tucson case, involving citation of Mrs. Irene Serasio, was heard shortly and taken under advisement. Mrs. Serasio was charged with conducting gambling at Venice gardens, the citation arising from Sheriff Belton's recent gambling raid. Mrs. Serasio, ill, was unable to make an appearance. A showing was made that the "gambling” conducted at Venice gardens consisted of a “chuck-a-luck” machine, from which players won candy, drinks and merchandise, but no money, and that the tax commission had licensed this machine, which had been in operation one month prior to the raid. No further showing was made by the tax commission in this case.